A new school year is upon us and my thoughts naturally turn to the young people going off to school.  That is probably why September is “New Generations” month.  New Generations is our fifth and newest avenue of service.  One could make the argument that this is Rotary’s most important avenue of service because this avenue not only deals with the future of Rotary but really the future of the whole world...

Our youth and young adult programs, such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) and Rotary Youth Exchange are the main components of the New Generation Avenue of Service.  By growing our programs for the youth, we are creating leaders for tomorrow, helping our communities and developing future Rotarians.

I know that much is being done for the youth in our District by the local Rotary Clubs.  I am encouraging you to take a look at what activities you do and considering some new ones or build on the existing. For example: Does your Club support the District Youth Exchange Program?  We just welcomed the seven inbound students who will be living in our communities for the next year.  What a great asset and learning experience they will be for their clubs, schools and communities.  Invite Nan and David Greenwood to your club as a program to talk about the Youth Exchange Program – maybe your Club is ready to jump on board.  Contact information as follows:  Nan and David Greenwood, email address:  ngreenwd@aol.com, home phone:  845-677-5767.

Are you involved in Interact?  We have over 40 Interact Clubs in High Schools throughout the District.  Did you know that Interact is 50 years old this year?  Plan a Special Celebration of Interact for the week of November 15th.  How is your Club involved?  Have a speaker come to your Club and talk about Interact. Invite a representative from a current Interact Club to come to talk about their activities or contact:  Mark Mahoney, Interact Chair, email address: mark.a.mahoney.quhd@statefarm.com , work number:  845-691-6124, or Jacob Lerner, New Generations Director, email address:  Jacob@siegelagency.com , cell number:  914-799-2050.

How can your Club involve young people in Rotary who are past participants of Rotary’s New Generation Programs (RYLA, GSE, YEX, Rotaract)?  One way to get them involved is by finding out about RYNO (Rotary Youth Networking Opportunity).  This is a program developed by two RYLA Alumni that connects New Generation Program Alumni with current Rotarians.  Contact me for more information. Our youth need the guidance and support of Rotary more than ever and Rotary needs the youth.  Make your Club a shining example of how to promote the New Generations Avenue of Service.

Have a great month of September and thank you for all you do for Rotary.

Yours in Rotary Service,
William Bassett
District Governor